Best Large Format Scanner 2020 – HP, Epson Flatbed Scanners

Choosing the best large format scanner 2020 for your professional needs – If you were vexed up hurdling through different user reviews, internet forums, Reddit threads, and queries on Quora in search of the best large format scanners that can fill up all of your needs, this page could be your ideal cool-off spot. We have heard a lot of quests from our readers for a scanning beast that can fill in the gaps between quality, affordability, and productivity. But then, we urge you not to judge us for bringing in the term affordability here. Usually, the large format scanning devices are a bit on the pricier side. However, we tried our best to pick them in different budgets we could.

Best Large Format Scanner 2020 – Versatile large-format Flatbed Scanners

Best Large Format Scanner Flatbed Epson
Best Large Format Scanners 2020 & Buying Guide

As usual, we have written a detailed buying guide at the end of this post with the crests and troughs that are to be considered while picking an ideal guy who does the job right. With our guide, buying the best large format scanner can no more be a conundrum for you. With that said, let us not waste another minute. I wish we could play a heroic BGM as we introduce our noblemen to you.

#1. Epson E11000XL-GA Expression Graphic Arts Photo Large Format Scanner –

Epson Best Large Format Scanner Flatbed
This large-format flatbed scanner from Epson can be your goto solution if you are in the market for a professional photo scanner.

Epson doesn’t need an introduction in the printing and scanning industry. It has been there for years maturing itself to the comfort of its customers. The Epson E11000XL-GA is one of the most beautiful crafts in the Epson lineup. You should see it in person to believe it. It can accept media up to 12.2″ x 17.2″ large and has a native resolution of 2400 x 4800 dpi. With interpolation, it can produce a maximum of 12,800 x 12,800 dpi which is incredible for obtaining greater details in your scans.

BrandEpson
TypeFlatbed color image scanner
Resolution2400 x 4800 dpi
FeaturesWindows & Mac OS
Rating4/5

The device also boasts the AutoFocus optics system with which the focus of the scans is automatically detected and adjusted to yield optimum scan quality. When it comes to connectivity, the device only has a USB port to be interfaced with an external computer. There’s nothing to complain about the connectivity as the wireless technology on a scanner doesn’t make much of a sense.

Features of – Epson E11000XL-GA Expression Graphic Arts Photo Scanner

Professional Large Format Scanning

The Epson E11000XL-GA Large Format Scanner supports versatile scanning and accepts reflective media up to 12.2″ x 17.2″. This makes this scanner an ideal choice for graphic artists and photographers seeking professional quality tabloid-sized scanning.

Incredible Scan Quality

This scanner is equipped with Micro Step DriveTM technology to produce brilliant clarity and details. It can produce smooth gradations with 48-bit color and can capture over 4 trillion colors and 4,096 shades of gray.

Scan Resolution

This large format flatbed scanner from Epson boasts a resolution of 2400 x 4800 dpi which is great for producing decent quality in your scans.

One-touch color restoration

The Epson’s exclusive Easy Photo Fix™ technology enables the user to restore faded color photos and negatives in a snap while providing automatic dust removal and grain reduction for film scanning.

Batch Scanning

This is a feature block that you can use to highlight features.

Technical Specifications, Pros & Cons of Epson E11000XL-GA

Technical SpecificationsTech Specs

BrandEpson
ModelE11000XL-GA
Dimensions25.8″ x 18″ x 6.2″ (W x D x H)
Scanner TypeEpson Flatbed color image scanner
Optical SensorColor Epson MatrixCCD™ line sensor
ResolutionHardware Resolution: 2400 x 4800 dpi
Maximum Resolution: 12800 x 12800 dpi
Maximum Scan Area12.2″ x 17.2″
Weight28.73 lbs
ConnectivityHi-Speed USB 2.0
Software Tools IncludedEpson Scan with Epson Easy Photo Fix™ TechnologyLaserSoft® Imaging SilverFast® Ai and IT8 Target
Pros
  • Decent form factor
  • Easy photo fix technology
  • Batch scanning
  • Resolution and versatility
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • There is no cloud support for storing scanned files
  • It should be connected to a computer for it to work
  • Priced high

Final Verdict

The Epson E11000XL-GA Expression Graphic Arts Photo Large Format Scanner is an ideal choice for photographers, graphic designers, or those who deal with producing great quality image scans. But considering its price tag, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you can afford it, it will not disappoint you for anything. The device can capture over 4 trillion colors and 4,096 shades of gray, making it a beast in the game

#2. Epson Perfection V850 Pro Large-format Scanner

Epson Perfection V850 Best Large Format Scanners
The Epson Perfection V850 Pro is one of the affordable yet power-packed versatile large format scanners in the Epson line-up. Let us see why!

The Epson Perfection V850 boasts a dual-lens system that automatically switches its lens to match the case and produce optimal output quality. It can scan at optical resolutions up to 4800dpi for photo scanning and 6400dpi when it comes to scanning using film holders. The device comes included with two sets of high-quality film holders for scanning your negatives.

BrandEpson
TypeFlatbed Scanner
Resolution4,800x 9,600 dpi
FeaturesDual Lens System
Rating4.1/5

This nifty device comes loaded with Digital ICE Technology that cleans-up old films and photos to bring them back to life. It offers excellent tone reproduction with 4.0 DMax optical density. The Epson Perfection V850 is a Good Large-Format Flatbed Scanner is one of the most versatile options available on the market. Compared to most other products in its line-up, this device offers a way more value to your hard-earned money.

Features of -Epson Perfection V850 Pro

Dual Lens System

The lens swaps automatically for the type of media that is fed into the scanner. For slide films, a 6400dpi resolution lens is equipped and for photos, a 4800 dpi lens is used.

Versatility

Speaking of versatility, the Epson V850 Pro large format scanner can be used to scan slides, films, and prints up to 8 x 10”.

Productivity

The device doesn’t even take one second for warming it up. You can start your scanning job almost instantly. This scanner comes with two sets of film holders that enable you to prepare a set of originals for scanning while the first set is still being scanned.

Digital ICE Technology

The Epson Perfection V850 Pro comes equipped with the Digital ICE Technology that automatically removes imperfections such as dust, fingerprints, hair, and scratches from both photos and the film to restore images to the maximum quality possible.

True Tone

The V850 Pro can detect the exact tonal range of the original, assuring the impressive details of the dynamic range. Thanks to its 4.0 DMax optical density.

Technical Specification, Pros & Cons of Epson Perfection V850 Pro

Technical SpecificationsTech Specs

BrandEpson
ModelPerfection V850 Pro
Dimensions503 x 308 x 152 mm (Width x Depth x Height)
Scanner TypeEpson Flatbed large format scanner
Optical SensorMatrix CCD with Micro Lens and High Pass Optics
Resolution (Dual Lens)Super Resolution Lens: 6,400x 9,600 dpi
High Resolution Lens: 4,800x 9,600 dpi
Maximum Scan Area8×10 inch
Weight6.6 kg
ConnectivityHi-Speed USB 2.0
Software Tools IncludedEpson Copy Utility, Epson Event Manager, Epson Scan, LaserSoft Imaging™ SilverFast® SEPlus 8, X-Rite i1 Scanner (with IT8 targets)
Pros
  • Comes included with multiple software tools for processing your scans
  • Impeccable 6,400 dpi resolution
  • Versatile
  • High Dynamic Range
  • Dual Lens System
Cons
  • Digital ICE software isn’t up to the mark
  • The SilverFast software is not worth the hype

Final Verdict

The Epson Perfection V850 Flatbed scanner is a deal-breaker for the photography freaks out there. You will love this so much especially if you still have your old school photo films lying around your house as this nifty device can also turn your photo films and slides into digital photos. Speaking of the scan quality, the Epson V850 excels here with an impeccable 6400dpi. However, this is only limited to scanning documents of size 8×10 inches. If you don’t go beyond this, this flatbed scanner could be your ideal grab.

#3. HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 Flatbed OCR Scanner

HP top Large Format Scanner Flatbed
The HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 Flatbed Scanner can be a decent choice for those who are looking for a good large format flatbed scanner under budget.

If you are serious about your budget and are looking for a decent image and document scanner that just does the job, the HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 large format scanner is an ideal option for you. The product itself is engineered so well to fit your workspace while blending in well with your gear. Speaking of the user-friendliness, this scanner is quite comfortable for routine jobs involving large scanning tasks, thanks to its custom settings option for recurring scan jobs. This device also enables the users to quickly share or archive your scans directly to popular cloud destinations with the aid of HP Scan software.

BrandHP
TypeFlatbed OCR Scanner
Resolution1200 dpi
Features2-sided scanning
Rating3.8/5

The software department of this scanner is designed really well. Extracting text from your scans (OCR Support) is a cakewalk with this nifty device. The device boasts a 1200 dpi resolution which is adequate for scanning documents and can yield better photo quality. However, you cannot expect this scanner to do wonders, especially if digitizing photos is your only need.

Features Of – HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 Flatbed Scanner

Versatile

The device supports different media sizes – Letter, legal, executive, business cards, 8×12, 6×8, 4×6, 7×10; handles paper sizes up to 122 inches. It can scan to different file formats – PDF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT(Text), RTF (Rich Text), and searchable PDF. The media supported are – Paper (banner, inkjet, photo, plain), envelopes, labels, greeting cards, index cards, business cards.

Auto Document Feeder

It comes equipped with a 50 sheet auto document feeder which supports unattended scanning meaning you don’t necessarily feed documents one after the other. Throw a bundle at it and it does the job on its own.

Speed

Scanning speeds are decent with the documents at 20 pages per minute and 40 images per minute with single-pass, 2-sided scanning.

Custom Profiles for recurring jobs

On the HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 large format printer, one can set custom scanning profiles to feed in recurring job tasks. This simplifies your job further.

Design

This nifty piece of hardware is engineered so well to sit comfortably on most workspaces and can blend in really well with your desk setup. The build quality feels sturdy and can run for ages.

Technical Specifications, Pros & Cons of HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1

BrandHP
ModelScanJet Pro 2500 f1
Dimensions451 x 351 x 122 mm
Scanner TypeHP Flatbed large format scanner
Optical SensorCMOS CIS (Contact Image Sensor)
Max Resolution1200 dpi
Supported Media SizeA4; A5; A6; B5; B5 (JIS)
Weight4.3 kg
ConnectivityHi-Speed USB 2.0
Software Tools IncludedHP Scanner Device Driver, HP WIA Scan Driver, HP TWAIN Scan Driver (Certified),HP Scan, HP Scanner Tools Utility, HP Event (Button) Handler, HP WindowsInstaller, I.R.I.S. Readiris Pro, I.R.I.S. Cardiris, Nuance PaperPort, ArcSoftPhotoStudio, SDK (Software Development Kit), LPDF (file with a link to downloadsoftware), no Mac software on CD
Pros
  • 50 sheet ADF
  • Decent scan speeds
  • OCR support
  • Intuitive software tools
Cons
  • The software is limited on MAC OS
  • Doesn’t do justice for glossy photos
  • Paper feeder jams frequently

Final Verdict

Usually, the flatbed scanners are a bit pricey especially if you wish for a scanner with higher resolution capabilities. Whereas the HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 is one of the most affordable options and does its job really well. You will not be disappointed if scanning large documents is your only requirement. For the price, it is being offered at, it is just doing justice in case of images. However, you cannot expect this to extreme wonders with your images but trust me, you cannot complain.

#4. Epson WorkForce DS-50000 – Large Format Flatbed Document Scanner

Epson WorkForce DS 50000 Good Large Format Scanner Flatbed Document
The Epson DS-50000 large format flatbed scanner is a blend of quality, versatility, and productivity.

Scanning a number of documents is now made easy with the Epson DS-50000 large format scanner. It can scan documents as small as a business card and as large as 11.7″ x 17″. The 4-line CCD sensor on this device can yield vivid colors, crisp and sharper text in your scans. The device comes with a software tool that lets you upload your scans directly to popular cloud services like SharePoint, Evernote, Google Docs, and more. It comes with TWAIN and ISIS drivers for cross-compatibility.

BrandEpson
TypeFlatbed Scanner
Resolution600 dpi x 600 dpi
FeaturesCustom profiles for recurring tasks
Rating4.9/5

The device comes with an optional Network Scan Module which enables wireless functionality to scan remotely. It also comes with a bunch of other software that can extract text from your scanned documents (OCR) and make your documents searchable. That means you can search the documents using their contents. This feature really comes handy when you have a heck lot of scanned stuff and you wish to find one in specific.

Features of Epson DS-50000 – Large Format Flatbed Document Scanner

Scan Quality

With the Epson DS-50000 large format document scanner, one can achieve exceptional scan quality, thanks to its 4-line CCD sensor. The device is capable of producing sharp text, crisp and vivid graphics in your scans.

Versatility

This is one of the most versatile options that you can get in this price bracket. It can scan documents up to 11.7″ x 17″ which is decent for a large format flatbed scanner. There is a provision for storing your scanned documents to searchable PDFs. One can opt for an additional networking module to add wireless capabilities to this device.

Build and design

From the first look, the device feels elegant and sturdy and seems promising to last longer. Considering its large format scanning capabilities, the Epson DS-50000 feels compact and is engineered well to fit most workspaces.

Resolution

The color CCD 4-line sensor on this device can produce a resolution of 600 dpi x 600 dpi which is adequate for scanning documents.

Productivity

Using the One-touch scanning option, one can create up to 30 user-programmable jobs for convenient operation. The device comes with a lot of included software – EPSON® Scan, Document Capture Pro (Windows only), and ABBYY® FineReader® Sprint OCR. Scanning to popular cloud services is a click away using the dedicated PC software.

Technical Specifications, Pros & Cons of Epson WorkForce DS-50000

Technical SpecificationsTech Spec

BrandEpson
ModelDS-50000
Dimensions25.2″ x 18.5″ x 6.2″
Scanner TypeFlatbed color image scanner
Optical SensorCCD 4-line sensor (RGB & black)
Max Resolution600 dpi x 600 dpi
Supported Document SizeUp to 11.7″ x 17″
Weight32.6 lb
ConnectivityHi-Speed USB 2.0, Optional network Adapter
Software Tools IncludedEpson Scan, Document Capture Pro with Scan to Cloudfunctionality (Windows only), ABBYY FineReader Sprint
Supported DriversTWAIN, EMC ISIS (web distribution)
Pros
  • Custom profiles for recurring tasks
  • OCR and cloud scan support
  • Wider formats
  • Well built
  • Rich details in case of text documents
Cons
  • The resolution could have been better for scanning rich images and artworks
  • No Auto Document Feeder feature

Final Verdict

The Epson DS-50000 is a decent choice especially if you got a lot of large-format text documents to scan. Built quality on this device is top-notch and can withstand large volumes of scan jobs. For a 600 dpi sensor, the scan quality for images came out surprisingly good but then you cannot expect to produce professional-grade results. If scanning graphical content isn’t your cup of tea, this could be your ideal choice. The other laid down is that there is no auto document feeder on this device. For the price it is being offered, the Epson should at least have thought of incorporating a 50 sheet ADF on this. However, if you can afford, we strongly recommend you to go for the Epson DS-60000 or the Epson-70000 with 200 ADF capacity.

#5. 5 Epson Expression 12000XL-PH Flatbed large-format Scanning Device for photo

Epson Expression 12000XL PH Flatbed Best Large Format Scanners
The Epson Expression 12000XL-PH large-format photo scanner is one of the greatest inventions from the Epson line-up.

There are professional large-format scanners in the market then there is the Epson 12000XL-PH Flatbed large format scanner specifically designed for the graphic enthusiasts. With the aid of this scanner, one can produce stunning large-format scans at incredible quality and detail, thanks to the Epson MatrixCCD technology. This large-format photo scanner can scan documents up to 12.2″ x 17.2″, plus slides, negatives, and transparency strips.

BrandEpson
TypeFlatbed Photo Scanner
Resolution2400 x 4800 dpi
FeaturesOne-Touch Color Restoration
Rating3.4/5

It can scan at a resolution of 2400 x 4800 dpi and has a 3.8 Dmax for brilliant clarity and detail. Above everything, the device is very user-friendly, and setting it up doesn’t take much time. Easy Photo Fix® technology offers one-touch restoration for faded color photos and negatives — plus automatic dust removal and grain reduction.

Features of – Epson Expression 12000XL-PH Flatbed Scan

Versatility

The Epson Expression 12000XL-PH large format scanner features a high-performance Transparency Unit for slide and negative batch scanning and is designed for professional photographers for producing professional photo scans to reproduce great details.

Resolution

The device boasts an impeccable scan resolution of 2400 x 4800 dpi which is adequate for producing the rich details in your scanned documents, thanks to the Epson MatricCCD technology.

Productivity

Now scan multiple printed images at a time using the batch scan feature of the Epson 12000XL-PH. The device warms up quickly and will be up and running as soon as you turn it on.

Build and Design

Like any other Epson devices, the Epson 12000XL-PH large format flatbed scanner is built very well to last longer and withstand a heavy

One-Touch Color Restoration

With Epson’s exclusive Easy Photo Fix Technology, restoration of faded color photos and negatives is a cakewalk. The device also offers automatic dust removal and grain reduction for film scanning.

Technical Specifications, Pros & Cons of – Epson Expression 12000XL-PH Flatbed Scanning Device

Technical SpecificationsTech Specs

BrandEpson
ModelExpression 12000XL-PH
Dimensions25.8 x 18.1 x 8.5 inches
Scanner TypeFlatbed color image scanner
Optical SensorColor Epson MatrixCCD line sensor
Max Resolution2400 x 4800 dpi
Maximum Scan Area12.2″ x 17.2″
Weight31.5 lb
ConnectivityHi-Speed USB 2.0, Optional network Adapter
Software Tools IncludedEpson Scan with Easy Photo Fix Technology, LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast Ai and 2x IT8 targets: (1) Reflective 5″ x 7″, (1) Transparency 4″ x 5″
Supported DriversTWAIN, EMC ISIS (web distribution)
Pros
  • Top-notch build quality
  • Can scan slides, negatives, and transparency strips
  • Greater scan details and incredible quality
  • One-touch color restoration
  • Batch scanning
Cons
  • Priced High
  • For the price, they should at least have provided Ethernet functionality

Final Verdict

The Epson Expression 12000XL-PH large format flatbed scanner is designed especially for photo enthusiasts. It can produce high-quality scans at a massive 2400 x 4800 dpi resolution. On the more, you can use it to digitize the old school slides or negatives. The batch scanning feature comes to play especially when you have to scan a number of photos. However, there are some laid downs, especially for the price tag at which this device is offered.

#6. Xerox DocuMate 3220 Duplex large-format Document Scanner

Xerox DocuMate 6440 Large Format Duplex Scanner with Document Feeder
The Xerox DocuMate 3220 is one of the good if not the best affordable large-format scanners available on the market.

Don’t let the size of the Xerox DocuMate 3220 scanner fool you. The device is engineered so well with smaller footprints to sit comfortably on most desks. It is probably the most affordable large format scanner available on the market. From plastic ID cards to large format documents, the device can scan everything that you throw at it. The maximum acceptable size is 9.5” x 118” which is incredible. It can scan your documents at a speed of 40 ppm/80 [email protected] dpi and 60 ppm/120 [email protected] dpi.

BrandXerox
TypeDuplex Scanner
Resolution600 dpi
FeaturesImpeccable Scanning Speed
Rating3.4

The device is very versatile and can accept different types of media from plastic ID cards, insurance cards to paper documents using the auto document feeder. It has an auto document feeder capacity of 80 pages which can yield greater productivity and has a duty cycle of 9000 pages a day.

Features of – Xerox DocuMate 6440 Duplex Scanner with Document Feeder

Versatility

The Xerox DocuMate 6440 large format document scanner tops the race when it comes to versatility with acceptance to a wide media formats ranging from plastic ID cards to large documents, it has everything in its bag for your needs.

Impeccable Scanning Speed

It can scan a whooping 40 pages per minute or 80 inches per minute at 300dpi. While it can scan at 60 ppm/120ipm at 200 dpi.

Quality

The scanning quality for text documents is decent while it struggles when it comes to scanning images. However, it isn’t intended for higher graphics.

Build and design

The design and quality aren’t exceptional but is acceptable for the price at which this is offered. It seems promising for larger work volumes. It has a daily duty cycle of 9,000 pages.

Software tools

Like most other large format scanners, the Xerox DocuMate 6440 also comes with a software bundle that can enhance your scanning experience and offers you a tonne of other features.

Technical SPecifications, Pros & Cons of Xerox DocuMate 6440 Duplex Scan

Technical SpecificationsTech Specs

BrandXerox
ModelDocuMate 6440
Dimensions12.50 x 9.40 x 26.80 inches
Scanner TypeDuplex Automatic Document Feeder
Optical SensorCCD (Charge Coupled Device)
Max Resolution600 dpi
Maximum Scan Area8.5” x 118” @200 dpi
Weight9.2 lbs
ConnectivityHi-Speed USB 2.0
Software Tools IncludedABBYY FineReader OCR Software
Supported DriversTWAIN, ISIS, WIA
Pros
  • Decent text scanning capability
  • OCR through a software tool
  • Affordable
  • Incredible speeds
Cons
  • Not suitable for images
  • Weighs more (heavy in terms of weight)
  • Glitchy with MAC (works fine with windows)

Final Verdict

The Xerox DocuMate 6440 large format scanner is ideal for scanning documents containing text. It isn’t meant to scan high-quality photos. However, you can still scan them at the cost of quality. The design and build quality are decent for the price you pay. A lot of users are complaining about issues with the MAC. However, in our testing, it worked nearly fine.


Buying Guide – Best Large Format Scanners 2020

Kudos for making it here! Now that you got to know what to choose, let us also understand how to choose. When it comes to Good large format scanner, a cheap 200$ machine and a beasty 3000$ machine does the same job but with many fractional differences in almost all aspects. These differences might be small but cumulatively they contribute to a greater impact as a wise man once said, Small things make perfection, but perfection isn’t a small thing. As long as we (Scanse) are live on the internet, we will not let those small things take over your perfection.

So, let us begin with understanding the things that contribute to perfection when it comes to large format scanning.

Resolution –

Resolution is the most important aspect of a scanner. The quality of your scanned document is directly proportional to its resolution. However, the resolution is further categorized into three, based on the type. The optical resolution, Hardware resolution, and the Interpolated resolution.

Optical resolution:

It is the actual number of pixels that are read by the sensor of your scanner. In other words, this is the measure of the intensity of the light that is reflected from the image which is being scanned. This is then converted into an analog voltage which is processed to digitally replicate the original scanned image. Optical resolution is usually given in a single number say 600 dpi as it is related to the amount of detail the sensor can capture horizontally.

Hardware resolution:

It is the pixels obtained by the sensor by double-stepping or quadruple-stepping of the carriage using a precision stepper motor. For instance, a scanner has an optical resolution of 600 dpi and a hardware resolution of 600 x 1200 dpi (it is because of double-stepping the carriage in order to increase the vertical resolution). In coarse words, the hardware resolution is related to the quality of detail that can be captured vertically by increasing the carriage.

Interpolated Resolution or Maximum Resolution:

Interpolation is a technique to increase the resolution of an image using a complex algorithm. They do not add any further detail to the original scan, it simply adds (gradient) pixels based on the mathematical probability of surrounding pixels, horizontally/vertically. Usually, the fancy resolution numerical that we see in the product description of scanners is of the interpolated resolution/maximum resolution. Speaking of facts, the interpolated resolution doesn’t add much much to your scan.

Pixel Depth –

We know that the image is captured in terms of pixels and we also know that the resolution means the measure of pixels horizontally and vertically. If the hardware resolution of a scanner is 1200 x 2400 dpi, it means that the sensor has captured data of 1200 horizontal pixels and 2400 vertical pixels. The data of each pixel is captured in terms of bits. Now, the number of bits of data captured for each pixel is called pixel depth. Each pixel can have two states (On or Off); therefore the number of grayscales or colors that a scanner can recognize is computed by taking the pixel depth as an exponent of two. The chart below lists the number of colors recognized for each different scan mode.

Scan ModeNo. of colors recognized
Bi-level (1 bit per pixel)21 = 2 colors (black and white)
8-bit grayscale28 = 256 shades of gray
10-bit grayscale210 = 1,024 shades of gray
8-bit color (indexed color)28 = 256 colors
24-bit RGB (8 bits per pixel, per color)224 = 16.7 million colors
36-bit RGB (12 bits per pixel, per color)236 = Over 68 billion colors
48-bit RGB (16 bits per pixel, per color)248 = Over 250 trillion colors

In simple terms, more bits means more colors and better quality in your scans.

Dynamic Range –

Dynamic range is the measurement of the difference between the lightest highlights and darkest shadows that a scanner can perceive. While going through our recommended scanners, you might have come across the term Dmax many a time. Dmax refers to the maximum density rating of an image. A high dynamic range can yield superior quality scans with detailed highlights and shadows especially when scanning transparent media.

Scanner Flexibility –

Some scanners come with special features like supporting color negatives (such as 35mm negative strips) to convert them into digital photos while some scanners only support positive transparent media, such as color transparencies and slides. Some scanners come with optional network cards while some are already equipped. Most scanners come with one-touch color restoration technology. It is entirely the user’s interest to choose a scanner for your need and liking.

Flatbed Vs Sheetfed –

The sheetfed scanners are also called Automatic Document Feeder scanners wherein the document is fed automatically into the scanner. These scanners are ideal for scanning documents and loose papers. They can handle large scan jobs like a boss. However, the sheetfed scanners are not recommended for scanning photos, images, and other graphical stuff. That is where the flatbed scanners come to play. The flatbed scanners can yield stunning scan qualities especially in the case of images and photos. But one can only scan one document at a time manually feeding them one after the other.

Scanning Speeds –

Scanning speeds do matter especially when you have to scan a lot every day. Usually, the sheetfed scanners are way faster as they come with auto document feeder technology and don’t require manually feeding documents one after the other. Just throw a bunch of documents and it does the job for you.

Connectivity –

Almost every large format scanner that you find on the market comes with a traditional USB 2.0 port. However, some models do have a provision to opt for an optional network adapter while some come with a built-in network interface. But, a wireless interface on a scanner doesn’t make much sense.

Software Tools –

Software is key for any scanner as everything the sensor reads should be soft-processed to achieve optimum quality. A bunch of other features like OCR can be incorporated using the software. From correction to cloud support, the software has everything in its bag for you. Apart from the utility software that you get with your device, there are a bunch of trusted third party software tools that can take your productivity to the next level.

Scanner Technology –

With the advancement of technology, we have been numerous iterations ahead of the crude ways used in the earlier ages. The refined technology left us with two widely used sensor technologies namely, Contact Image Sensors (CIS) and Charge Coupled Device (CCD).

Contact Image Sensors:

Contact Image Sensor which is commonly known as CIS is an integrated module containing a light source, fiber optic lens array, CIS sensor array, and an analog to digital converter. The module itself is very close to the document surface, usually, less than half an inch so is the name – Contact Image Sensor. Coming to its operation, the LEDs on the sensor pulses one at a time – red, green, and blue. With each pulse, the source light bounces off the document, through the lenses, and onto the surface of the CIS sensors. Each element in the sensor then generates a voltage equal to the amount of light received. This analog voltage signal is then digitized by the analog to digital converter present in the module.

The voltage thus digitalized will form an image replicating the document that is scanned. However, there are some laid downs with CIS technology. The lightwave bandwidth of an LED is very narrow thereby limiting the gamut. Also, as the elements are close, there is a limit in the depth of focus. This will result in the degradation of the overall image quality.

Charge-Coupled Devices:

Charge-Coupled Devices are otherwise known as CCDs. They contain five main components namely, 

  • The light source – traditionally this has been fluorescent but some manufacturers are now using LEDs.
  • Mirrors – These help in guiding the reflected light.
  • A focusing lens – these help in focusing the reflected light onto the sensors.
  • CCD Sensors – the CCD sensors will capture the focused light
  • Analog-to-digital converter.

Its operation mechanism is little complex compared to that of the Contact Image Sensors. The fluorescent light shining on the document is reflected onto a series of mirrors, through a focusing lens which finally falls on the surface of the CCD sensor. The sensor then generates an analog voltage proportional to the amount of light received. This voltage is sent to the analog-to-digital converter which is then digitized.

The CCD technology can produce wide color gamut as the light source used is of a fluorescent lamp. This can yield high focus depths and overall image quality.

Serviceability –

This is yet another important factor to be considered while looking at buying a large format scanner. Most renowned brands on the market offer wide serviceability. However, brands that have joined recently in the play have limited-service centers and support. It is advised to go with the brands which are on the market for quite some time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best large format scanner for scanning artworks?

Scanning artworks demands a large format scanner with a decent resolution. The Epson Expression 12000XL-PH large-format photo scanner is specifically designed to handle high graphics. It has got a decent optical resolution and a good Dmax value to help you yield the best out of your photos. For more details read our complete review on the Epson Expression 12000XL-PH on our website.

Which large format scanner to choose, flatbed, or sheetfed?

Sheetfed scanners come to your rescue especially if you have a lot of scan jobs to deal with as they come equipped with auto document feeder capability. However, if your quality is your preference and you wouldn’t mind manually feeding the documents to the scanner, a large format flatbed scanner can be your champion.

Which large format scanner is the best in terms of versatility?

Speaking of versatility, the Epson Perfection V850 Pro Large-format Scanner can be an ideal investment as it has support for different media from paper to film. When it comes to scanning quality, it is one of the best scanners that your money could afford.

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